FINRA: Housing Woe Puts Wealth at Risk

Some experts are warning that the mortgage crisis and a weaker economy are bringing about another crisis of increased risk to personal wealth and the long-term financial health of individual investors.

Asset risk management strategies may vary, but some investors may be trying to cope with rocky economic conditions by putting their most valuable assets at risk in an effort to raise cash quickly, CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Mary Schapiro said talking at a Women in Housing and Finance panel here.

Based on the consolidation of NASD and NYSE Member Regulation, FINRA was created in 2007. It is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States "dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services."

FINRA is involved in every aspect of the securities business-from registering and educating industry participants, to examining securities firms, writing and enforcing rules and the federal securities laws, informing investors, providing trade reporting and administering, the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms.

In an effort "to caution investors about endangering their home, their retirement savings or their life insurance," while offering financial stability tips, FINRA said, it has released "Weathering Tough Financial Times: The Long-term Costs of Quick Cash," its most recent investor alert.

"Rising fuel and food prices, declines in the housing market, volatility in the financial markets, an ever-tightening credit crunch - they are all creating unexpected financial challenges for many Americans," Ms. Schapiro said. "But tough financial times don't necessarily justify resorting to risky ways to make ends meet." (c) 2008 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/

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